Tuesday, 25 April 2017

This year's Leicester City Bioblitz will be held at Knighton Park, Palmerston Way from 7.00 p.m. Friday 12th May to 5.00 p.m. Saturday 13th May 2017. For those of you who are unfamiliar with the event format, it is a 24-hour race against the clock to identify as many wildlife species as possible. This year, "An ambitious target of 500 species has been set to challenge experts and beginners alike in a quest to find wildlife ranging from bats to butterflies, trees to toads and many creepy crawlies." Knighton Park has a good mix of habitats, including brooks, grasslands, species-rich woodlands and formal gardens.

Activities with schools will be held on Friday, plus guided walks and talks for everyone on Friday evening, and also during the day on Saturday, when there is a wild flower walk at 1:00 pm. If you are interested in the walks and talks, which are free, you can book them via the Bioblitz website (click on the 'Register' button). Someone from the Botany Group will be on site from 10:00 a.m. all are welcome to come and help find and identify plants, or to just enjoy the wildlife in the park.

Last year's Bioblitz was held in Welford Road Cemetery and several members of the Botany Group attended and helped to record species. It was a successful event and a report was produced by Helen O'Brien, which you can download here (pdf document; 2.77Mb).

Helen says that, "...the staff who help to manage the sites are often amazed at the species-richness, even though some have been working there for many years and for others it adds a greater depth of understanding of why they are asked to manage the sites in the way that they do." So, your contribution will help to inform the future management of the Park.

The event is being organised in partnership between Leicester City Council, Knighton Wild, The Conservation Volunteers, NatureSpot, University of Leicester and the Leicestershire and Rutland Wildlife Trust, not to mention the many experts, volunteers and public who make the day special and without whom it would not be possible.


Thursday, 6 April 2017

Field Meeting in Mkt Harborough

The first vascular plant field meeting of 2017 will take place on Saturday 8th April in Market Harborough. We will be recording in the monad SP7487 which is half in Leicestershire and half in Northamptonshire (vc32), with the help of Brian Laney. We will be concentrating on early flowering species, especially ruderal herbs in the industrial estate. As we will record the species in Leicestershire and then repeat the recording in Northamptonshire, there will be plenty of opportunities to revise what you have just learnt. Meet at the junction of Rockingham Industrial Estate with Rockingham Road at SP746874. Parking is available in nearby streets.

The meeting is suitable for beginners and more experienced botanists, and will be a fairly leisurely day with plenty of time to discuss what we find. The meeting will start at 10:30 a.m. and continue until around 3:00 p.m. You're welcome to stay with us for as long as you wish, and to leave at any time, provided you tell us when you go. Please bring sunscreen, rain gear etc. to suit the weather, and lunch and a drink, if staying all day.

If you would like more details or to arrange car-sharing, please phone me on 0774 548 7766.